Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are found as gases all around us in nature, and can be found in higher concentrations in various household products. These substances can be found in many paints – from the base product, to the pigments that are added to provide the color. VOCs in paints and stains can possibly cause irritation to our employees while working with them, and also have possible long-term health effects. In addition, VOCs can be emitted as products dry, which could affect residents who are sensitive to airborne irritants.
Fortunately, manufacturers of products, such as paints, building materials and
cleaners, have made great strides in reducing or eliminating these compounds from their products. These days we have many paints from which to choose that contain low amounts of VOCs, and are well below the standards set by the environmental protection agency. Some have no VOCs at all.
However, while these developments are certainly good for our health and the environment, they aren’t 100% positive for the way paint works. Some of the VOCs are
there to help the paint adhere to the surface being painted, so it’s always a balancing act for paint manufacturers. They strive to develop paints that are as safe as possible, while at the same time create a product that will last. Nobody wants to have to repaint more frequently, and there are those that will argue that this detracts from the overall environmental benefits. As a painting company, we continually adjust to these changes. Sometimes we discover that a product that we’ve used and grown to trust will change and deliver different results than expected. Even if that means we add an extra coat of paint, I think we all prefer a healthy and safe product.